The Six Major Food Groups & Their Importance

The Six Major Food Groups & Their Importance

The Six Major Food Groups & Their Importance

by November 9, 2015 0 comments

Food groups and there various importance to a healthy balanced diet were taught to us years ago in primary school. In the present day how often do we try to factor the food groups’ basics into our meal plans?

 

The exactly quantity of any food group we eat is dependent on a number of factors. These factors include our age, gender and weight. But a balance of food from each of the food groups is essential for any healthful diet.

 

Today, let’s take a look at those food groups again to refresh our memories. Along the way, we’ll discuss the importance of the food groups and we can use the MyPlate chart to build a healthy food combo.

 

The Six Major Food Groups & Their Importance

Vegetables

Carrots | Food GroupWorld Health

Under current dietary recommendations, half of your plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables. Any type of vegetable counts, whether fresh, frozen, raw or cooked. Even 100 percent vegetable juice can contribute to your daily vegetable requirement. Vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and are loaded with an assortment of vitamins and nutrients. Most are fibre-rich, which helps lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. This fibre also makes you feel fuller longer, so you are likely to eat fewer total calories throughout the day.

 

Fruits

Apples | Food groupPixabay

Whole fruits are packed with fibre and vitamins.

Fruits are the other food group making up one-half of your plate, according to the MyPlate meal plan. As with vegetables, most fruits are naturally low in fat and calories and a good source of fiber. Though 100 percent fruit juice counts toward your daily fruit total, it should be noted that fruit juices lack the fiber whole fruits provide. Some of the more valuable nutrients fruits contain include folate, potassium and vitamin C. The typical American diet often does not include enough of these key nutrients.

 

Grains

riceZME Science

Whole grains provide more health benefits than those that have been refined.

One-quarter of your plate should be filled with grain foods. Foods predominantly made up of grains such as wheat, rice, oats or cornmeal include bread, cereal, pasta and tortillas. The most critical nutrient provided by grains is fibre, which may assist in weight management and reduce the risk of conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Grains also provide B vitamins, folate, magnesium, selenium and iron. Most Americans get enough grains, yet not enough are whole grains. Refined grains lack the fibre, iron and B vitamins whole grains contain. Because of this, the USDA recommends that at least half of the grains you eat are whole grains.

 

Protein Foods

fish trade by starafricaStar Africa

Salmon and other seafood are good lean protein options.

Proteins are the building blocks of muscles, bones and blood and are essential to every system in the body. Protein-rich foods, which should make up the remaining quarter of your plate, also provide valuable vitamin B, iron, magnesium and zinc. Though they are a critical component of a healthy diet, many protein foods can also be high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Fatty cuts of meat should be limited for this reason. Lean meat, nuts, seeds and seafood are all good protein choices. MyPlate recommends adults consume 8 ounces of fish per week, as it provides beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.

 

Dairy

dairy productshorint

Low-fat dairy provides nutrients beneficial for bone health.

Dairy products provide nutrients that are critical for bone health, including calcium, potassium and vitamin D. Dairy is also a source of protein. The benefit dairy provides for bones makes consumption especially critical for growing children, whose bone mass is developing. As with protein foods, some dairy options can be high in saturated fats and cholesterol, so choose reduced-fat or fat-free options, and limit consumption of full-fat dairy.

 

Oils

coconutUniversity of California Santa Cruz UCSC

I remember this group was called “fats & oils” back then. Although oils are no longer recognized as an official food group.

Prior to the development of MyPlate, when the food groups were displayed in pyramid form, oils held the smallest space at the top. MyPlate has eliminated oil as a food group. Today the USDA recognizes just five food groups, recommending fats, oils and sweets be eaten only rarely. However, oils should not be avoided entirely, as some do provide nutrients. Most of the oils you consume should be polyunsaturated or monounsaturated. These do not raise unhealthy cholesterol, and they provide antioxidant vitamin E. Yet be mindful that oils contain about 120 calories per tablespoon.

 

Below is a representation of the MyPlate diet chart

 

Till my next post. Eat healthy!!

 

Love y’all *kisses*

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